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Re: Common ancient ge dagger-axes

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  • gustavusvontempsky
    Hi Gary, The bent dagger axes/Ge I have come across in person, in museums, and in texts. I have one which has been re-straightened roughly and broke (before I
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 21, 2005
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      Hi Gary,
      The bent dagger axes/Ge I have come across in person, in museums,
      and in texts. I have one which has been re-straightened roughly and
      broke (before I bought it) and even has vice clamp marks from the
      clumsly attempt. Fractures show it was bent at the Tang/Nie, the
      middle and the tip. I have seen this same Zhou style large dagger
      axe in a text from a site in China and it had 2 of them and bent in
      a clear 'U' shape.
      I saw bent dagger axes in Shaanxi too, and was given another
      explanation that they were damaged in burial. I believe in the
      extreme incidence the weapon is 'killed' before being put into the
      tomb....as the pagan Vikings with a similar material afterlife would
      bend a weapon from the funeral pyre to make sure it is
      symbolically 'killed' and will follow spirits into the
      afterlife...much like burning of hell money in modern Chinese
      festivals reaches the realm of Yama....or the breaking of
      pottery/mutilating items in other cultures religious rituals.
      I believe the damage in some cases is intentional...and Tony has
      outlined seeing various Ge like this too. He was told another
      reason, that the buried warrior had 'died by the sword' i.e violent
      death...but I think half of what the Hong Kong suppliers tell us
      collectors (or Tony) is only geusswork as well.
      Again, personal research counts for more than accepting the words of
      others as there are a number of small things that I seem to seldom
      get the same answer twice.
      Just a thought! I see a tomb object being bent deliberately...but if
      it is just the tip like in your piece it is hard to say.
      (see museum pics).
      The simple spike pole arm Zhun (Dhun) I like better than any inlaid
      piece or incast detailed end. It is thoroughly useful! On a long
      lance, or a Ji or spear point above the dagger axe it could be used
      to place the end in the ground against a cavalry charge....and on
      the shorter pole mounted Ge (as some can be man height or less)it
      could be a vicious weapon if anyone moved inside the hook of the Ge
      or outflanked the warrior.
      It has often been noted a good polearm technique can beat a good
      sword technique and this just adds another tools to the warriors
      arsenal, in a parry and butt end strike that may well pierce leather
      armour nicely. Neat.

      PS;Pls note I am not dyslexic and the earlier awful spelling is as a
      result of my longer proof-read message disapearing into the
      void...and then I just lazily posted a hasty earlier draft that now
      I realise was a bit of a dogs dinner.
      PPS; If you are selling any of the representive pieces without
      jewell encrustments and inlays then feel free to send me a picture
      or let me now of listings etc. If the time is right I might just
      splash out on a piece or two!:)

      --- In DragonSeedLegacy@yahoogroups.com, "Gary L. Todd"
      <leefoxx@b...> wrote:
      > Photos #26-31 in the Ancient Chinese Weapons folder show 35 fairly
      > common ge dagger-axes, all dating to the Zhou Dynasty, nearly all
      > Dongzhou, and the majority of them from the Warring States era at
      the
      > last half of the Dongzhou (i.e., about 475-221 B.C.). Most are
      > without provenance, purchased on eBay. I include them so you can
      see
      > the variety of sizes and shapes. Museums usually have the nicer
      ones
      > on display, so what you see here is the weapon carried by the
      common
      > soldier. I suspect that each of the warring states had its own
      > foundries with its own style, which accounts for the wide variety.
      > One of the ges has a blunt end. This is not broken, but rather it
      is
      > bent over 90 degrees, which leads me to believe that the tip was
      > damaged in combat. Either that, or some soldier got mad and
      slammed
      > his ge into a brick wall.
      >
      > Photo #32 is of four zhun, or pole-arm feet. Two of them are
      richly
      > inlaid with silver and precious stones, although the corrosion has
      > partly covered up much of the detail, and my poor photography has
      not
      > helped. Jieming has done a great job of improving my photos and
      > posting them to the site. I have more pictures coming in the
      future,
      > but with my wife feeling under the weather, I will have to put off
      > finishing this. Note to Kenneth: Rich Nable has some beautiful
      pieces
      > in his collection, and does much better photography than I do.
      I'll
      > try to get photos of some of his pieces before I leave for China
      in
      > September.
      >
      > Gary Todd
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